Emily Gregory’s walkoff home run in the bottom of the eighth inning broke a 2-2 tie and lifted the top-seeded Tommie softball team to a 3-2 win over No. 2-seed Bethel in Saturday’s winners’ bracket game at the MIAC Playoffs in Mankato.
The No. 9-ranked Toms (36-5) have won 25 in a row this season. They need one win on Sunday to make it 10-for-10 all-time in MIAC softball playoff crowns.
Bethel (27-14) plays Gustavus in an elimination game, and that winner must beat St. Thomas twice to claim the title and claim the conference’s automatic berth into the NCAA playoffs.
The Tommies opened Saturday with an 8-0 victory over Gustavus in six innings.
Mary Rentz’ homer tied the game at 1-1 in the third inning. UST took the lead in the fourth inning on a two-out passed ball. BU’s second solo home run of the game tied the score in the fifth inning.
The Toms used a two-out single and double in the bottom of the seventh to put the winning run on third but couldn’t score. Gregory led off the eighth inning with her 29th career home run. It was her fourth this season in three games vs. Bethel.
Kendra Bowe worked 4 1-3 innings in relief and allowed one just one hit and one run with no walks as she improved to 26-1 on her career against MIAC opponents. Bowe stranded the bases loaded when she relieved in the fourth inning.
Six different Tommies have hit home runs in the 4-0 start to the playoffs, including two each by Gregory, Jenna Hoffman and Bianca Peterson. It was the second walkoff homer of the season for UST. Hoffman had the other, also in the eighth inning, to post a 2-1 win over St. Olaf in mid-April.
Click here for UST-Bethel box score:
Click here for UST-Gustavus box score: